The Strong Box

I think I mentioned some time back that my husband and I are involved in The Renewal Ranch, due to open its doors January 1 of 2011. It is a free program for drug-addicted men. They live on campus for a certain length of time, I think about six months, and undergo extensive Bible study and training. It is patterned after John 3:16 Mission in Charlotte, Arkansas, which has an incredible success rate of men turning their lives around.

As my husband, daughter-in-law and I were discussing some last minute details that need to be provided for the men to make this venture successful, the topic of a good Bible and Bible study books was mentioned. My mind went back some years to a trend among women who were trying to be faithful to a daily devotional time with God. The trend was Quiet Time baskets.

In them the seeker would place whatever books and utensils were important to her for a prosperous daily quiet time: a Bible, journal, pens, pencils, high-lighters, devotional book, current book she was reading, Kleenex, etc.

We all agreed that the men would need most of these same items except the Kleenex maybe. But we immediately agreed that we probably should not put them in a basket. My husband suggested a box and we all thought that was a good idea.

This thought became heavy on my mind. Later on that evening, the thought came to me: "My dad had what he called his "strong box." Many the time that I heard him say to one of us kids, "Bring me my strong box." That was where he kept his valuables. Now mind you, this box was not very big because we did not have very many valuable--maybe the deed to the house, birth certificates, army papers, that sort of thing. It was strong metal and fireproof--his strong box.

Oh, wow! the light bulb went off--We could give our guys "strong boxes." The implications were myriad. It would contain all the physical items they would use in their time at the Ranch to become strong. It would leave with them when they graduate as a reminder of all the items they used to become successful and also as a place to store their future valuable--their home deeds, their marriage licenses, birth certificates, spiritual birth certificates--a reminder that we have faith in them to be strong, to draw their strength from the Lord, to grow into strong and mighty men of valor and of God.

I couldn't tell you how many years it's been since I thought of Daddy's strong box. That God would place that thought in my mind was just another reminder of how much God loves these men who Renewal Ranch will have the privilege and responsibility of ministering to. He even cares what we name their boxes.

I have no earthly clue who any of the men are who will be going through the program but I am already praying for Kevin. When I thought of strong box--this is what kept coming to my mind--Kevin's Strong Box--we will calligraph their name in some form on the inside of the box, maybe discreetly somewhere on the outside of it.

It will be their own personal reminder of the mighty God--our strong Savior, who stands ready and willing to help them through the steps they must take to become drug free so they can walk in freedom and might.

My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Please pray for these guys and especially for Kevin--smile!